School Psychology (MSc)
About the programme
The curriculum of the master's specialisation School Psychology is in total 60 EC and can be completed within one year. The programme offers a variety of courses and a supervised master's thesis.
We offer a very diverse programme that takes you through all the indispensable elements of School Psychology. You can find a short summary below; for a detailed overview of the Master, please read our e-prospectus.
In the master's specialisation School Psychology you will take four mandatory courses. Please read more information about subjects of this master's specialisation in the Programme structure.
Students need to do an internship of 10 or 20 ECTS. A 10-ECTS internship has to be supplemented by two elective courses. In the mandatory internship, students gain hands-on practical experience or research experience in an area of their own interest within the domain of their master’s specialisation. As one of the final parts of their training to become a ‘scientist - practitioner’, students have to familiarize themselves with the professional activities of a psychologist, either by focusing on applying scientific insights in the field or by focusing on conducting applied or fundamental research.
An internship in a Dutch professional institution is only available for students who speak and write Dutch well enough. Internships for English speaking students in the Netherlands are very scarce. The Master specialisation can therefore not guarantee the availability of those internships. The master School Psychology offers a 10 EC internal practical internship, which is particularly suitable for international students. Alternatively, international students may do a research internship or may look for possibilities for internships in their home country or in an English speaking country. Dutch students may also complete internships abroad. In all cases, the internship has to be approved by our internship coordinator before the start of the internship. See the e-prospectus.
Students in this master specialisation can extend the 10 EC External Internship to a 20 EC External Internship if they aim to qualify for a postmaster program in School Psychology (or Health Care Psychology). An External Internship comprises of performing professional skills such as diagnostics, practicing interventions, counselling or coaching of clients in educational institutions (e.g., primary schools, secondary schools, school advisory services, private practices). There are various ways to find a position to do an internship. Most students find an internship of their choice in the educational sector in the Netherlands or abroad.
External Internships of exactly 20 ECTS (560 hours) are very hard to find in The Netherlands, most institutions offer longer internships (usually, 6-8 months, 3 days/week). This may make it difficult to complete this programme within a year. We are working with regional partners to make more 20 ECTS internships available, but as of now, few are available. The advantage of these longer internships of course is that you will learn more and get more responsibilities. See the e-prospectus.
Your master's thesis will be the crown on your university education. Your thesis will enable you to go in depth on a school psychology related topic and you may get the opportunity to obtain experience with all the phases of empirical research. Alternatively, some staff members have access to large and rich datasets, which will enable you to write a thesis without collecting new data. Staff members will offer research topics related to their own research interests, for which students can sign up. The exact topics and the participating staff varies from year to year.
Thesis topics relevant to School Psychology can be found within each of the four main research areas of Developmental and Educational Psychology. The Brain and Development group explores the relations between brain development and cognitive development. The Emotional Development group focuses on the development of emotion regulation in young children and adolescents. The Intellectual Development and Dynamic Testing group studies cognitive-intellectual abilities and processes in children and adolescents. The Social Anxiety and School Refusal group studies the dynamics and treatment of social anxiety during adolescence.
During the program, we learn to keep on looking forward, to look at what works and to highlight the positive side.
What appeals to me in the work of a psychologist in education is that you work with different layers within a school. The pupil needs to have space to develop him/herself, but this is also true for the teachers.
I really enjoy the small group sizes in this master's programme. The personal contact with other students and teachers is very good.
The courses in the master's program contain many practical assignments. These practical assignments such as a diagnostic trajectory with a child, psycho-education for a teacher in training and a coaching trajectory, were very instructive and the most enjoyable assignments of this master's program. The assignments gave me an impression of what the workfield as a school psychologist would be like.
We use various modes of instruction to augment the learning experience:
- In the lectures the literature you have read will be applied to real life, by examples, to enhance your knowledge of the subject at hand.
- In the small (10 to 24 students, depending on your specialisation) work group sessions you'll delve deeper into the course material. There is room for discussion. Work groups sessions require active participation and attendance is therefore mandatory.
- In practical sessions you'll work on your skills. You'll gain, for example, skills in interviewing, observation and using statistical computer programmes (depending on your specialisation). Attendance is also mandatory in these practical sessions.
In the online course environment students review their peers’ assignments and prepare for examinations with online mock exams and recorded lectures.
Student support services
Your study advisor or coordinator is an expert on all aspects of your study programme, for example exam regulations, planning, academic issues, study delay etc.
Study advisers discuss problems of any kind relating to the studies or any personal circumstances which might trouble your study.
POPcorner offers you assistance!
The students and employees of the POPcorner can also support you during your academic years. Need help with study planning, academic reasoning or writing papers? The POPcorner offers workshops and courses, social activities and individual help throughout the year. They work in cooperation with your Study Adviser.